Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

PolitiFact.com | Tampa Bay Times
Sorting out the truth in politics

PolitiFact: Obama's outsourcing on green energy is half true

The statement

The Obama administration "has been outsourcing" by sending money to "solar and wind energy companies that end up making their products outside the United States."

Mitt Romney, in comments at a town hall meeting

The ruling

Mitt Romney is turning the tables on President Barack Obama, calling him the "outsourcer-in-chief" and highlighting foreign spending from the economic stimulus.

At a town hall meeting in Colorado, Romney said Obama "has been outsourcing a good deal of American jobs himself by putting money into energy companies, solar and wind energy companies that end up making their products outside the United States."

The Romney campaign backed up the claim by citing a report from the Investigative Reporting Workshop that found about 65 percent of the wind turbines on stimulus-funded projects came from foreign manufacturers.

PolitiFact has examined a number of claims about stimulus dollars going overseas, especially in the area of alternative energy. We have found an element of truth to these statements but that generally the numbers are exaggerated. Critics of the stimulus have tallied government loans, grants and tax credits going to a foreign firm but they often ignore that most of the money goes to domestic subsidiaries, and most of the work takes place on U.S. soil. In this case, though, Romney is less specific — and more accurate.

Indeed, many foreign companies benefited from American tax credits and Energy Department grants, and those programs created some jobs in foreign countries. A study by the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that anywhere from 30 percent to 70 percent of wind power spending goes overseas. Another federal study put the number at about 40 percent.

But that's because many components for wind turbines are not manufactured in the United States.

Overall, when the federal government supports the use of wind and solar power, it is virtually certain that some if not most of the materials will come from overseas. That is more true for solar than it is for wind.

So while there is some truth to Romney's statement — because stimulus dollars did go to foreign companies — it is inaccurate to call it "outsourcing" because there is not a source domestically.

We rate the claim Half True.

This ruling has been edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

PolitiFact: Obama's outsourcing on green energy is half true 07/20/12 [Last modified: Friday, July 20, 2012 10:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mother's testimony about toddler's death brings judge to tears

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Nayashia Williams woke up early on May 7, 2014, to the sound of her daughter calling for her. It was the last time the young mother's mornings would begin with a summons from Myla Presley, who couldn't yet climb over the mesh fencing around the playpen she used as a bed.

    Deandre Gilmore looks towards the gallery Tuesday in a Tampa courtroom. Gilmore is accused of killing the 19 month-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2014. He said the child fell while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  2. Speakers: Getting tough can't be only response to teen car thefts

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Bob Dillinger remembers coming to Pinellas County as a legal intern in 1975. There were five major poverty zones in St. Petersburg.

  3. Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility and spousal abuse

    Politics

    White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Donald Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter told the …

  4. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.